Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Queen of starting over " A broken scale and a new me."

When I started training with Stephanie,  I wanted to only weigh in on one scale and since I had one at home I just told her what it said. That was about 7 weeks ago. I had weighed in on Mondays but two weeks ago the scale was not working and I have not fixed it.

 My friend Jeannie used to say "Leave the scales to the fishes and think about how you feel and how your clothes fit." I want to believe that's what I was doing but I could just be in denial that I wanted to look at some freakin number and get depressed because it had not budged in a couple of weeks.

Conor had a Dr. Appt. this Monday I took him to,  and since I was there I just hopped on the scale in the office.
I was floored. I have lost 12 pounds in 7 weeks and so has Conor. I could not believe it. Especially since it was afternoon and I can drink a glass of water and gain three pounds.

I knew I was seeing results because I had 2 pair of jeans I had not been able to get on and could button and zip them both. Now one pair I could wear if I wanted to just stand or prop against a wall all day since they were so tight it took me back to the days of my  Calvin Klein's, when I would lay flat on the bed and use a pair of pliers to zip them up.  They'd be so tight and I thought I looked as good as a Cosmopolitan Cover girl but probably looked like a hooker after I put on all that make up, a disco shirt with no bra ( yes back in those days I had a perky little rack and rarely wore a bra )  and those 6 inch high boots. But the other pair I could actually wear and feel like a normal person not a big haired Disco Queen.

Since Monday I thought about how some places they measure weight by " stones" and wondered just how big would a stone that weighed that much be? Well today I got my answer because I worked out with a medicine ball that weighed you guessed it, 12 pounds.

While I held that ball I was so happy,  my spirit was so full just knowing that I could  lay it aside when I was finished and it was off my hands and I didnt have to carry it,  and then a bible verse came to me.

"A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh."
Ezekiel 36:26

And I AM starting to feel new.

My friendship with Stephanie is a blessing to me, I believe her when she tells me that I can do something I didn't think I could.

 I am better able to cope with all the stress I have had since my Dad got so sick. Today I threw those giant ropes more times than she asked for and it FELT GOOD to get it OUT.

I get to work out with my son and ITS FUN even though he could run laps around me,  he just hangs out and does what I'm doing and teases me how he's going to out do me and i don't care I'm just glad he's there.

I never knew.

I never knew it could be like this.

My new heart and spirit, welcome, please stay...

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Pool Watching 07/23/2009

So today was hot. Hotter than a firecracker, hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk, hotter than hell. I don't really think so about the last one but I'm sayin it anyway.

Me and Conor went to the public pool today. Not to many people at first, but its interesting to people watch there. I am amazed at what people wear to the pool. A lady had on a t-shirt, a pair of sweat pants with the legs rolled up, and a skirt over it, oh and a bandanna on her head. She was a normal skin color not a albino. Has she not been listening to Al Gore? Doesn't she know the Earth has a fever and its REALLY warm so she does not need to dress like that?

And the guy in long sleeves and jeans with all of his kids. He was MEXICAN I have to say this, why is it always the Hispanic people wearing long sleeves to the pool? Its a P-O-O-L you will be wet, you can wear sunscreen, you already have color, lots of color. I could understand if you were a vampire pale kid like mine. He is covered in sunscreen and neoprene from neck to knee his SPF makes him look like Frosty the snowman only skinny its so full of Zinc Oxide. ( You know the white stuff lifeguards wore on their noses when you were a kid?)

Oh wait you might not know that if you were born after about 1987 or so. That was the birth of REAL SPF because all of those who had been laying out with the Iodine/Baby oil mixture on silver blankets or floating on pool rafts for hours on end, were suddenly being treated for Melanoma.
What we wanted to look like

See we didn't have the luxury of laying in a nice cool tanning bed that just cooks you in 10 minutes, 4 times a week. We did it the hard way. It took hours of tanning for us.

We could sing the jingle from the TV commercial "Bain De Soliel for the San Tropez Tan," because we all wanted to look like that bronze, exotic, sexy...But no it was a job. There was prep. Stacks of magazines, huge glasses of water, beach towels on top of aluminium lawn chairs because you didn't want the ants to get on your oily skin and stick to you and the radio. You had to have the radio. Because about every fifth song you had to roll your basted like a turkey in oil body over so you could be "even",  the KXXY DJ would say "Time to turn over all your tanners out there." It was like a sport. If you didn't have a pool you just doused yourself in the garden hose re oiled and started again. We even got competitive about it.

"What are you doing today?"
"Laying out."
"Oh really me too."
"Oh where?"
"At my house."
"Oh I'm going to my boyfriends."
"Oh well we are going to lay on aluminium foil."
"Well we have these special silver blankets we got at the store so you get burned evenly."
"Well we are going to lay out on the roof so we are closer to the sun and everything."

We were always trying to one up each other. Whoever had a sunburn scab on your nose was the winner. If it was a cloudy day on your weekend you were panicked because you were missing a lay out day. One time I burned my butt so bad I could not sit down for two days. I had to lay on my stomach the whole time. I peeled like the strings off of celery. But after all the peeling I was really dark and tan.

I learned my lesson finally. I was 24 and got such a bad sunburn after house sitting for a friend who had a pool that it left a scar and I was so freaked out.

So I totally went the other way. I never went out in the sun at all. I was so pale my friends nicknamed me the mushroom. I was constantly searching for the strongest SPF. I was like a junkie looking for the best high. I'd go in the store, "OOH look SPF 30, oh no wait this ones 55, AND its thick like candle wax, surely nothing can get through that!" I truly looked like a Bedouin until the sun went down. Everyone else looked pretty and tan. I looked like a frozen chicken. But its a HEALTHY white my sweet pasty friend would say. She was even worse than me. Covered in freckles and pasty too. We were the pair.

Finally after the evolutionary process of skin care I enjoyed a trip to Florida where I played and played outside and didn't burn once. I actually was outside without wearing so many clothes it looked like a Bourka. Its damn inconvenient to swim in a Bourka.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Beautiful California

I went to California to check on my dad who is in the hospital there. He is not doing so well. Still on a ventilator.
In a rehab center in a bed he cannot leave, unable to speak, but still bright in his mind. We had to make some decisions about his care he and I so this was a serious trip.

 It has been 30 years since I put my feet on the ground there or admired the gold and green hills and wildflowers that grow everywhere. As we crossed over the Golden Gate Bridge I thought of the first time I had seen it and how amazed I was at its immensity.  At the beautiful, brightly painted houses one on top of the other along the streets, the tallest trees, the thickness of the green of the Golden Gate Park and the people. Lots and lots of people. There was a music Festival wrapping up  and many of them were milling about along the street. I smiled so many of them looked like the people did the first time I came in 1974, funny how things roll back around. Headbands,  long skirts,  sandals, it looked like a clip of Woodstock.

My cousin Karen who is like my Dads sister was driving our rental car, and my 81 year old Aunt Margaret was chatting from the back seat and though I was supposed to be navigating with the Garmin ( that my Dad calls "Bitching Betty")  I could not take my eyes off of the ocean. The Sunday Sailboats and all the people lining the bridge taking pictures and doing tourist things. And the beautiful beautiful water.

I had never seen the ocean til I made my first trip to California to see my Dad when I was 13 and I made him take me to the beach the day after I got there I wanted to see it so bad. It was huge, it was wild crashing on the pebbled beach and it was cold. So cold. There were rocks and it was grey and misty and nothing like what I had imagined. When I put my bare feet in they instantly became numb but I didn't care it was THE OCEAN...

I had so many firsts those summers with my Dad. My first time in California, my first time to visit a museum, eat in a french restaurant where he ordered for me,  Escargot,  and I loved it and didn't even care that it was snails. Trips to Napa to ride horses and visit the wineries, the rows of grapes stretching out forever. Riding the ferry back and forth and feeding the seagulls, ordering me a dressed up tomato juice and we clicked our glasses just like I was a grown up.

Visiting China Town and walking around Ghiradelli Square where he told me he liked to come and watch all the pretty girls sit outside at lunchtime. Going to the Pier and watching the seals and just walking downtown and marveling at the houses they called the painted ladies, telling me stories about Haight Ashbury and what it was like. We squeezed a lot of life into the short times we got to be together.

The last time I was there I was 23. When he picked me up from the Airport we drove to his  place which was the bottom of a 4 story house and he was good friends with the people who owned the house and when we arrived they
had a little party and my Dad opened a bottle of Dom Perignon the kind with the beautiful flowers on the front of the bottle  and we all toasted together. We went for a lot of walks in the hills around the house with the dogs and I talked about what I wanted to do with my life. He asked me if I ever thought about maybe moving there. It was the only time he ever asked me if I wanted to leave Oklahoma. He said he could help me find a job if I wanted to think about it. I said maybe. But I think we both knew I would not do it. My Dad was there and I loved him. But I just could not think of leaving Oklahoma.

Now I think about how brave he was to just go to California when he was young and make a life. He's been there for more than 30 years. So when he got ready to retire I asked him "Do you want to come to Oklahoma? I would help you find a place to live.." But I knew what his answer would be without him answering really. Because I knew that my Dad would never leave California,  where you can smell the Eucalyptus in the air, and see the lights of the city on the water at night, where all your friends and memories and life is.

It was awkward because of the bed but I leaned over and laid my head on his chest and listened to his heart. He held the back of my head and stroked my arm and I said" I love you Daddy". And even though I didn't say it I think he knows that I bless his life and where he is.

We all just do the best we can.

In beautiful California.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Queen of starting over August 2014 #Stuffingisforturkeys

Life does not always goes as planned. If you don't know that by the time your fiftyish then your living in a bubble.

My Dads very ill and lives in California and I just made a trip there to see him. A fast one. The kind where you are up at 4:00 all feet on the floor and asleep by ten, and the next day start again. Exhausting, emotionally draining, frustrating and having to make all kinds of decisions that you never even knew about.

I was not alone. I had my ROCK of a cousin Karen Vaughn Scherff and my sweet little Auntie Margaret Charleton with me.

I will say this about being in crisis mode. I used my Argus Life and would have 3000 steps in (sometimes before one P.M.)  running the halls of the rehab/clinic, and also the days I flew in and out of California. I could just hear Trainer/Stephanie in my head telling me to keep moving especially when I felt like the top of my head was about to blow off from all the crazy...

My Dads friends were kind enough to bring us some fruit, cheese, smoked fish and good bread to the hotel so we could eat healthy and the hotel had a morning buffet where I resisted the waffles and ate hard boiled eggs or cottage cheese and fruit instead for breakfast.

Lunch and dinner I was able to indulge my love for seafood and still eat decently avoiding rich sauces and opting instead for fish prepared in a healthy way with seasonal veggies.

At night I stretched and did some yoga before bed ( I called it Wallerin ans in I'm gonna lay in the floor and Waller don't pay me any mind folks."  and also tried to stretch a little during the day to keep from becoming sore and miserable.

Did I "fall off the wagon"?

I prefer to call it showing myself some grace...

 I did indulge myself in a piece of beautiful lemon and blueberry cake which I shared with my Auntie. I also just had to try the IN and OUT burger just to see what the fuss was about. Burger good. But McDonald's fries are still better.

All in all for a person whose addicted to food and, "Stuffs her feelings" I felt like it all went pretty well.

Dealing with all this is the new normal for me. And I can do it....

It boils down to this, feelings don't kill you, keep moving, healthy food is good, and a little bit of sweet is OK.

Monday, August 4, 2014

California Here I come

My Dad and my Mom got married very young. Had me right out of the gate. And then D-I-V-O-R-C-E.

He went to Korea. She went back to Oklahoma.

His family is very close knit and were heart sick when my parents divorced. His parents made a trip all the way from South Dakota to Oklahoma just to see me. I didn't know who they were but I was a sweet friendly little five year old so I sat on their laps and talked to them, I have pictures of myself a little tow headed girl on the couch with them...

When my Dad came back from the war he wanted to see me. But my Mom was getting ready to get married and making a new life a new start and a new family. So my Dad honored that and went on to live his life after getting out of the Army.

He was in Denver a little while but then moved to Sausalito, California. He built a life for himself there. He was a bartender for years and grew to love the people and place where he lived.

I was 12 and by this time my mother was divorced and that guy was well,  lets say he wasn't cut out to be a husband or father. My mom was dating some so when the phone rang and this mans voice asked for my mom I was being nosy and said "Who is this please?". I was caught off guard by this man telling me "Suzie, I'm your Dad."

They made arrangements for me to go to fly out to meet him.

I got off the plane and was surprised.

He was tall and slim. I called this his cowboy phase. He was wearing a denim jacket, a cowboy hat jeans and boots.
He had curly blondish hair, and looking in his face I saw

guess who....It was me.

Then he took me to the Cat and the Fiddle where I had my first French Dip Sandwich and then into the hills where he lived with some roommates in a beautiful house down the street from where Joe Dimaggio and Marilyn Monroe had lived.
We walked down to a lake where I threw sticks for the dogs into the water. We went to see Jaws and then to Muir beach I saw and felt the ocean for the first time I was so surprised it was freezing but he wouldn't let me and  his dog Moki get in the water because we had just seen the shark movie.  He took me to see the giant Redwoods, China Town, Giradhelli Square. We ate Lobster, and Crab, and Escargot ( which he confessed later were snails in garlic butter and I loved) and Duck a L'Orange which was not so good.

The entire time I kept looking at him listening to him and drinking in this life he had that was SO DIFFERENT from mine.

As I got older my Dad and I fought to get closer. I was really mature and could take care of myself so that part was easy. But me being a teenager was not. Because most of the time I talked and acted like I was a thirty year old. Like the time I confronted him about some of the partying and I learned to just take the dogs and leave and go down to the boat slips beneath his house because all the drinking and people were too much for me. I just wasn't used to that free wheeling California bachelor lifestyle.  And he wasn't used to having a kid. He was just a big kid himself.  So we both were struggling.

Over the years my Dad and I have worked it out. I didnt boss him except at my house where he'd reply "Yes Dear" and roll his eyes dramatically. He turned out to be the best grandfather you could ever ever ask for. He and my son have a relationship that is the stuff of a great novel. The only fly in the ointment is my Dads health has declined over the years AND he lives all the way in California.

My Dads routine surgery landed him in the ICU, hooked up to a vent. He has recently been moved to a rehab center where he is still on the ventilator. He cant talk at all. So myself, his niece Karen and sister Margaret are going to rally round his bedside. The Minnesota family. The South Dakota family. The Oklahoma family. And the rich wealth of California family. The ones he has picked over the years that loved and stood by him through thick and thin.

I don't know what the future holds. I don't know if I'll ever hear him laughingly call and say "This is the Geezer checking in." on my answering machine. I have had to have some tough conversations with my son who prays fervantly for his Grandfathers recovery and we share a box of kleenex and hold each other.

But what I do know is this.

 Family is the people who love you when you feel unlovable, who keep calling you back when you leave, and stand up for you when you cannot stand up alone. Who forgive and love and prove in so many ways that you are valuable and important.

And, Amen....

Togetherness and the new normal #Queenofstartingover Week 4

Well week four rolled around before you know it.

I can actually move better. I feel a little stronger. I'm starting to crave healthy foods and accept healthy habits like portion control and cutting out  most refined carbs and candy.

I also am trying to drink a gallon of water every day. I thought it was crazy when my friend mentioned it but I also noticed two of my friends who are fitness competitors do it and talked about how good they felt. I don't know if its just wanting it to be true but I actually feel less tired and achy since I started. I have yet to drink an entire gallon mostly only 3/4 of the way through but its enough to feel a difference.

One thing that I love is that my son Conor wants to go workout with me. And Ms. Stephanie doesn't mind she likes him.

It just looks easy
We both did the treadmill to get our heart rate up and he did the weightlifting with me. But he kept drifting over to the machines...

Of course he's fascinated with the machines and has to try them out. His comment after this one was "Dang it just looks easy..."

Conor attacking me after the Planking...
I was doing crunches. He was doing planks. Ms. Stephanie says "OK Conor you have to hold your plank til your Mom finishes her crunches."

Now I can do some crunches. Believe it or not I am the crunch Queen. So I decided I'd stretch those crunches out as looooong as I could.

 Me: Hey Conor are you OK?
Conor: Yep Yep but this is hard.
Me: ( on crunch 25) Are you tired yet?
Conor: Yep I'm tired Mom just hurry up.
Me: Oh no this feels so great I'm going to do I don't know 25 more.
Conor: Mom, Mom, MOM!!!!!
Me: OK

I loved getting to spend the time with him doing something good for us, that helps to make us healthy better people. And having a teen its hard to find something that doesn't bore him.

Bonding over healthy stuff with your kid.

Yep its my new normal.

P.S. I fit back into a pair of jeans I have not been able to wear for a couple of months. WOOHOO!